You may have heard of the new and exciting sport called Bubble Soccer. That’s right…we said Bubble Soccer – and this game is one of the coolest, hilarious, and fun games to hit the market in a long time. This hybrid game of soccer is a combination of group fun, physical activity and even some friendly competition. Other games that are sometimes played with an “inflatable bubble suit” are Capture the Flag, Prison Break, King of the Circle, Sharks & Minnows and Bubble Football – making it a very popular game for events like birthdays, reunions and other fun group get togethers.
Bubble soccer, also known as BubbleBall, Bubble Futbol, Zorb Ball, BattleBall, and Knockerball® is becoming widely popular in many cities across the United States. It even had its television debut, being introduced on the popular show Shark Tank in 2015. Since then, people have been curious about Bubble Soccer, Bubble Sports, and asking where can I find Bubble Soccer near me?
What is Bubble Soccer?
BubbleBall Soccer is a physically active game in which a group of players, much like a soccer team (usually 6-15), compete in a game of full contact soccer, while inside their own individual plastic bubble balls. Think of human bumper cars meets sumo wrestling, with the rules of football and soccer – all rolled into one. Sounds fun right? We know – we can’t get enough of this Bubble Sport!
Where did Bubble Soccer come from?
Bubble Soccer was invented through the origin of something called a Zorb ball, which can almost be compared to a human Hamster ball. The idea of Zorb is that individuals, or sometimes even more than one person, could get into a giant inflatable “zorb” and roll down hills or flat surfaces, racing and having fun. People also enjoy using themon water like lakes streams or even the ocean. Although Zorb ball started out as a recreation activity, it has transformed into things like Bubble Soccer, Knockerball®, Bubble Football and other extreme Bubble Sports.
Can you believe that since its start in the 1990s, Zorbing has even gained Zorbing World Records?
Fastest Speed Zorbing (32 miles per hour)
Longest Distance Zorbing (1870ft)
Fastest 100m Zorbing (26.59 seconds)
The Most Zorbing Participants (237 people)
Is Bubble Soccer Safe?
The plastic bumper bubble ball used for Bubble Soccer is made of TPU or PVC material, and has an opening at the top and the bottom giving you the ability to breathe and run around freely. It has inner handles and adjustable shoulder straps designed to perfect rolls, flips and wheels by individuals using them. It’s much like a large donut or pool float, but made with much more durable material.
Although some of the real fun of Bubble Soccer is the ability to bump into your opponent, knocking them around and sometimes to the ground, the quality of the bubble protects each individual from actually getting hurt when they fall or make contact with another bubble.
Bubbleball sizes range from .8m, 1.2m, 1.5m, and the “Big Daddy” bubble for players over 250 lbs. The bubbles can accommodate both children age 5 and up, as well as adults – so everyone can enjoy being active and having fun.
Like any sport there will always be a risk for injury, which is why it is important that the rules shown below are strictly enforced for the safety of all the players.
How Do You Play Bubble Soccer?
Now that you know what Bubble Soccer is, what are Bubble Soccer rules and how exactly do you play? The rules for Bubbleball Soccer can differ depending on the event or setting that it is played in. Game play for tournaments and leagues is much more strict than a private event.
Bubble Soccer Rules for Private Events:
At Bubble Bump Houston we host a lot of private events for groups like the following:
Corporate Team Building/Leadership
These rules and game play are typically shorter and more inclusive of everyone there. Game length averages 4-6 minutes or sometimes the first team to 3 goals, wins. During private group events like this, it’s more important that everyone gets to play and enjoy themselves.
The start of the game is similar to dodgeball where everyone rushes to the middle to get the ball. There are not any timeouts, free kicks, or penalties, as the game is really meant for fun. Since Bubble Bump has a Bubble Soccer Coordinator there to assist groups, safety precautions and best practices are reviewed, so injuries are scarce.
Bubble Soccer Rules for Tournaments, Leagues and Official BubbleBall Soccer Games:
The more official game play rules that we list below are from the BubbleBall Business Association. The Bubble Ball Soccer rules are intended to keep players and equipment that you are using safe and therefore allowing everyone to have carefree fun and enjoy themselves.
How do you win at Bubbleball?
Just like soccer and most sports, the ultimate goal of Bubbleball Soccer is to score the most goals. This is done by kicking the ball into the opposing team’s net.
How Many Players in Bubble Soccer?
There are usually 5 field players on each team, no goalie, and 2-3 subs. Subs can come in out and freely (on the fly), as long as the same number of players remain on the field.
There is usually one referee during a BubbleBall Game and sometimes one or two sideline referees. This is to make sure that play is safe and fair.
Length of a BubbleBall Soccer Game
There are a few different ways that Bubble Soccer can be played as far as time length.
At Bubble Bump we play three 10 minute periods.
Other games are played 4 quarters, each 10 minutes in length
or 2 halves, 15 minutes in length.
Each team gets three 2 minute time outs. Time on the game can only be stopped for injuries and time outs. It is not stopped when the ball goes out of bounds.
What are Bubble Soccer Rules?
Similar to soccer, the ball is placed at centerfield. However, with Bubbleball Soccer, players should be at least 10 feet away, no more than 20 feet from the ball.
BubbleBall Players cannot hold the ball. In the case that they do, they can receive a penalty up to 2 minutes (like hockey) where they must sit out of the game. Their team will be short one player until their penalty is up.
When the ball goes out of bounds, the referee will throw the ball back into play.
There are no offsides rules in Bubbleball Soccer.
Penalties and Foul Play in Bubble Soccer
As mentioned above, players cannot hold the ball. Players can also not score with their hands. They must kick the ball into the net.
A player may not “bubblebump” or “bubblehit” another player without the ball. They may also not prevent another Bubbleball player from getting up if they have fallen.
It is illegal to trip, grab or kick another Bubbleball Player.
Best Rules for Safe Bubble Soccer Play
Playing the ball from the ground should not be allowed. This limits the risk of a player’s legs being stepped or fallen on by another player.
No player contact on the ground. This was mentioned above, but it is worth mentioning again. A player that is trying to regain balance while getting up in their bubble ball should could be at an increased risk for injury.
No diving or launching into other players. When players launch from their bubble ball they are putting themselves and others at more of a risk for injury on the way down from their jump.
Players not in a bubble, should be kept a distance from the field of play in order to risk being bumped into. Those not wearing a bubble during Bubble Soccer do not have the protection that other players have.
Where Can I Play Bubble Soccer?
All around the country including Chicago, New York, D.C. and LA you can play bubble soccer anywhere you play soccer! Here will provide the goals, equipment and the fun! Bubble Bump will even provide a personal Bubble Soccer Fun Coordinator so that your group can focus on enjoying your love for this new exciting sport! We have location recommendations and partnerships if you need space, both indoor and outdoor.
Bubble Soccer can also be played indoors. Players use cones and markers to identify boundaries and the field of play. There are some risks associated with playing indoors and players and referees should make note to take extra precautions when playing Bubble Soccer Indoors.
Many injuries with Bubble Soccer have been reported by players’ contact with walls, bleachers or obstructions. Therefore when setting up make sure cones and boundaries are far away from any obstructions like walls, bleachers, stages, etc. Even though Bubble Soccer players are protected by the bubble. Their feet and legs are not and are still exposed and able to be injured.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Knockerball®?
Knockerball® sells Bubble balls used for Bubble Soccer in 4 different sizes and 2 different materials, both TPU and PVC. They range from $199 for a small PVC Knockerball® to $399 for a large TPU Knockerball®.
This does not include any equipment like boundary markers, inflatable pumps and goals to play a game of Bubble Soccer. For newbies to the game or looking to try Bubble Soccer, we would recommend renting, as it is about the same cost as purchasing one bubble ball.
Can I Rent Equipment for Bubble Soccer?
Eager to give this exhilarating sport a try? We have you covered! We serve Greater Houston and the surrounding areas. Have bubble balls, will travel!
We are happy to lead your group and team in a fun game of Bubble Soccer or one of our many other fun Bubble Games listed below. The best part is, it’s affordable fun! For the price of buying one Knockerball®, your group can rent ours and play! Set up, game coordination, refereeing and take down are all included for Bubble Soccer .
Pricing for Bubble Ball Rentals:
$285 (6 Bubbles)
$335 (10 Bubbles)
We guarantee your group will have fun….or your money back!
Are there other Bubble Games?
There are so many games you can play with your group with bubble balls. The act of bumping into one another and rolling around is comical enough, but adding a fun competition to the mix always ups the enjoyment.
Classic Games like Capture the Flag and Sharks and Minnows can be played. Same rules, only now you can bump, roll and flip away! At Bubble Bump in Houston, we play games like Bubbleball Prison Break and Bubbleball King of the Circle.
Bubbleball Prison Break
Two teams each have a "prisoner" on the opposite side of the field. They must attack the other team and rescue their prisoner back to their safety zone without the prisoner getting knocked down or stepping out of bounds.
Bubble Ball King of the Circle
There are no teams – you play against each other. All players are gathered inside a designated circle. The game starts with the referees whistle, the goal of the game is to eliminate all your opponents by evicting them from the circle! Once a referee removes a player he or she may not return to the game. The player inside the circle will become the KING or QUEEN!
Who Can Play Bubble Soccer and BubbleBall Games?
We have played Bubbleball Games with individuals ranging from children 5 years old to adults that are 70. Since rules and best practices are enforced, it is safe for players of most ages, as well as fun!
Bubble Soccer is great for events at schools, fundraisers, family reunions, summer camps, after school programs and even birthday parties. The feedback is continuously positive and players are always looking to plan their next Bubble Soccer event shortly after.
Bubble Ball truly is a fun and unique way to work on cooperative team building, stay healthy with physical activity, and laugh with your group. There really is no other sport quite like a bubble sport and we really encourage you to try it for yourself, we guarantee you will enjoy it!